The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Wednesday, December 14, 2016 arraigned one Chike Akwittis alias ‘Dr Justified Isioma Nnaemeka’ also known as ‘Emeralds Chike’ before Justice Sylvanus C. Oriji of the Federal Capital Territory High Court sitting in Apo, Abuja on a 4-count charge bordering on marriage scam and theft.
Akwittis allegedly entered into a fake marriage agreement with a road safety official and in the process swindled her of several millions of naira to the tune of N6.7million.
The offence contravenes Section 1 (1) (a) and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006.
The accused was also accused of stealing $3000 (three thousand dollars) belonging to her boss’ wife, claiming that the chief priest in his village said it was a ‘spirit’ that stole the money.
By this act of theft, the accused has breached Section 286 (1) and punishable under Section 287 of the Penal Code.
Upon arraignment, the defendant pleaded not guilty to the four counts when they were read to him.
In view of his plea, counsel to EFCC, Ola T. Oji, urged the court to fix a date for hearing and asked that the defendant be remanded in prison custody pending trial.
However, the defence counsel, U. C. Oparaujo through an oral application prayed the court to grant his client bail. Relying on Section 158 and 165 of the Administration of the Criminal Justice Act, 2015, Oparaujo said that, the defendant had never breached the administrative bail earlier granted him by EFCC.
Responding, Oji argued that, though the defendant had not defaulted in the administrative bail granted him by the Commission, “the game has changed as he is now before a court of law. He added that the defendant does not live within the jurisdiction of the court.”
However, Justice Oriji admitted the defendants to bail in the sum of N3.5million with two sureties in like sum. The sureties must be resident within the F.C.T. Their addresses must be verified by either the Registrar of the court or the EFCC. One of the sureties must be a civil servant not below salary grade level 12.
The case has been adjourned to January 23, 2016 for trial.
Meanwhile, the accused is to be remanded in Kuje prison pending the perfection of his bail terms.
Head, Media & Publicity
December 14, 2016